The New York Giants and Eli Manning were hit with a lawsuit in 2014 which alleged that the Giants and quarterback Manning were passing off fraudulent goods as memorabilia that was used during Giants games. Both the Giants and Manning did their best to get the case killed but a New York Judged ruled on April 19 that the case must go to trial.
Die-hard NFL fans are always on the lookout to purchase memorabilia that reminds them of great games and top players. NFL franchises and players often auction their memorabilia which can include helmets, jerseys, shoes and medals to fans that end up paying a lot of money to acquire these authentic game worn memorabilia.
The Giants and ELi Manning followed a similar pattern of selling their memorabilia but the authenticity of the memorabilia was questioned by Eric Inselberg who is a memorabilia dealer. Inselberg believed that the Giants and Manning were not being genuine with their claims and that the so called memorabilia was not authentic.
He raised concerns over a number of Eli Manning’s memorabilia that ranged from his jerseys and two helmets from the Giants win at Super Bowl XLVI; a Pro Football Hall of Fame helmet that was allegedly worn during Super Bowl XLII, and another Manning helmet from his 2004 rookie season.
Giants Get Caught With Incriminating Evidence
The Judge decided not to dismiss the case and send it to trial after the prosecution introduced a number of incriminating factors. This included an email from Manning to Joe Skiba who is the Giants equipment director. The e-mail asked Skiba for ‘two helmets that can pass off as game used’. The evidence was a huge blow for the Giants but they denied the allegations and claimed that the e-mail was taken out of context.
John Robinson of Resolution Photo-Matching also provided testimony as an expert witness and stated that based on his research 4 out of the 5 helmets that the Giants claimed were memorabilia did not match equipment that were sold as game-used equipment.
The Giants defense continued to dismiss the allegations and stand by the fact that all equipment was game used. In a statement, Giants defense attorneys said
Plaintiffs have put forward no evidence supporting the proposition that engaging in memorabilia fraud is the kind of task that any Giants employee was ever employed or otherwise authorized to perform.